Solemn evening (and late night) in DC

After dinner last night, Al Balderas, Diamond Leung and I went over to monuments along the mall. We did a LOT of walking. It’s a long way from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, especially on a humid night. But after that, we finally made it to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial shortly before midnight. The remnants of the Memorial Day ceremony held there only hours earlier were still there, hundreds of flowers and personal items left by surviving family members of those who gave their lives in the conflict. Someone had left a framed Western Union telegram from, I think it was 1966, informing a woman of her husband’s death after his Howitzer backfired on him. What struck me most, though, was just how eerily quiet it was. There were about a dozen people there, doing the same thing we were, even at that late hour. But out of respect, no one said a word. I had seen it before, in the daytime, but there was something about seeing it in the final minutes of Memorial Day, in the darkness, with only a few footlights shining up on it, and the monuments, completely lit up, visible in the distance. Thanks to everyone in the military for their dedicated, unselfish service to country and mankind. And thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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I stand corrected

Actually, at the moment, I SIT corrected. But tomorrow’s Jason Schmidt rehab start at Single-A Inland Empire? It starts at 11 a.m., not noon as I wrote yesterday on this blog and for today’s paper. If you show up at noon, you can still catch two-thirds of a minor-league ballgame, but you won’t catch Schmidt — he’s likely to be gone by then. Once again, that’s 11 AM. NOT NOON.

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Change of plans: Schmidt to start his rehab

Right-hander Jason Schmidt, who signed a three-year, $47 million free-agent contract with the Dodgers in December and now has been on the 15-day disabled list for the past six weeks with bursitis in his right shoulder, will NOT throw a simulated game sometime on the Dodgers’ current road trip to Washington, Pittsburgh and San Diego, Instead, the decision was made to fast-forward him straight to his minor-league rehabilitation assignment, which will begin on Wedesday at Single-A Inland Empire, which hosts Rancho Cucamonga at noon that day. There is no preset plan for how many innings or pitches Schmidt will throw, and there still is no timetable for his activation. The limit on minor-league rehabs for pitchers is 30 days, so it could still be a while. Trainer Stan Conte, who stayed back from the road trip, and general manager Ned Colletti will be there to watch Schmidt. If you’re interested in attending, the 66ers play at Arrowhead Credit Union Park, which is at 280 South E Street in San Bernardino. For ticket info, call (909) 888-9922

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Dodgers 2, Cubs 1

Pierre brought the leather, robbing Mark DeRosa of a hit with a diving catch in the top of the 11th, then brought his left knee, which collided with a pitch from Carlos Marmol with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th, forcing in the winning run. There was some initial confusion when the play happened, and the only people who seemed to realize that the Dodgers had won the game were Ramon Martinez, who scored the winning run when the pitch caromed off Pierre’s knee and into foul territory, and Russell Martin, the on-deck hitter who exchanged fist bumps with Martinez. Everyone else was confused by Pierre pleading with plate umpire Dana DeMuth for the hit batter call, an appeal by the Cubs to third-base umpire Doug Eddings who signaled that Pierre hadn’t swung at the pitch and the fact Pierre was trotting up the first-base line. This one could stick in Piniella’s craw for a long time, especially after Angel Guzman, who had been perfect in the ninth and 10th, walked the first two batters in the 11th. And the worst part is, the Cubs will have to wait until Labor Day to try to even the series at 1,007 games apiece. Dodgers go to 29-21 and stay tied with San Diego atop the division, with Arizona one game back. The D-backs play tomorrow, the Dodgers and Pods do not. … Have a safe and happy Memorial Day, everyone.

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Workin’ overtime

Dodgers have had six different innings today in which they sent just three batters to the plate, including the bottom of the ninth, when neither Pierre, Martin nor Kent could reach against Angel Guzman. They also went down one-two-three (or was it two-three-four?), all on fly balls, in the eighth after Ethier led off the inning with his home run. Pierre is 0 for 4 with four flyball outs. Broxton is dealing though, and is now in his second inning. He just blew away Derrek Lee for the second out in the 10th. Cubs 1, Dodgers 1, top 10

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